The SAGE Handbook of Global Policing examines and critically retraces the field of policing studies by posing and exploring a series of fundamental questions to do with the concept and institutions of policing and their relation to social and political life in today's globalized world. The volume is structured in the following four parts: Part One: Lenses Part Two: Social and Political Order Part Three: Legacies Part Four: Problems and Problematics. By bringing new lines of vision and new voices to the social analysis of policing, and by clearly demonstrating why policing matters, the Handbook will be an essential tool for anyone in the field.

Police and State

Police and State
Thomas Bierschenk


In common parlance as well as in academic debates, state and police are terms that are usually seen in a close relationship with each other. They even seem to determine each other. After all, the police are the carrier of the internal monopoly of power, which for many is an essential defining characteristic of state authority. From this perspective, it is equally hard to imagine a state without a police as a police without a state (Knöbl 1998).1

However, the mutual and closely reciprocating relationship between state and police appears less than determinate as soon as an empirical (sociological or historical), rather than a normative-juridical or a common sense, perspective is adopted. Neither historically, nor in contemporary empirical reality ...

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